Let me start off by saying that I am not particularly afraid of spiders. I spent many of my younger years trail running. As any good trail runner knows, if you are the first person to run the trail in the morning, you get to be the one who breaks through all the spider webs. You either get desensitized or you find a new hobby. And now my favorite activity is gardening, which involves getting up close and personal with myriad spiders, insects, and snakes.
But this afternoon, Elise and I went for our daily hike through the jungle and got a little more nature than we bargained for. This is the largest spider I have ever seen in my life – easily the size of the palm of an adult’s hand – and it was in the middle of the largest spider web I have ever seen in my life – which was flapping the breeze like a giant bed sheet suspended from the canopy above.
I couldn’t bring myself to walk under its blanket of doom, so we turned back. (It ended up working to our advantage, as we would have been caught in a violent summer squall if we had pressed on.)
This, sadly, is the best picture I could get of it. I don’t think it is a golden orb (or banana) spider based on its size and the fact that its web looks like a giant sheet instead of a vortex. But I could be wrong. The joys of Florida wildlife.